I had the pleasure of attending Seattle Intiman's The Diary of Anne Frank last night and have to say came away completely inspired...on many fronts. I'll start by saying it was an excellent performance. The staging was outstanding, the actors exceptional, and the information and commentary provided in the program and small exhibit were invaluable.
Now...the truly inspiring parts. First, it completely validated my desire to add 'culture' to Future-ish's focus areas. Science and design are great and all and offer compelling information, objects, and solutions to the many challenges facing our world, but in the end they are quite empty if they are not connected to culture in some way - the many ways we connect with each other. Science has many and well known prositive an negative ramifications, design too can produce innovative objects and solutions to challenges, but can also result in overcomsumption and social inequity. Learning from out past, the wisdom of elsders, diversity, all this is part of our common and diverse cultural experience and it is vital that science and design are informed by and respect culture. Science and design should always progress in ways that uplift us all and improve the qualtiy of live for EVERYONE. Obviously, as seen in the Holocaust itself, culture alone can be currupted as well so it is the confluence of all these that will shape a more just, secure, and sustainable future.
The next thing that I took with me from the performance was, of course, the incredible tragedy of the Holocaust. I was suprised and happy to discover that Washington State has its own Holocaust resource, the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center. While reading the program that offered extensive information and resources about the Holocaust, I was literally overcome with sadness. I still very clearly recall reading and watching the movie The Diary of Anne Frank in high school and how greatly they affected me then. I have not visited any of the Holocaust sites in Europe yet, but do hope to someday.
The final thing that I was so impressed with was the attention that the play's producers brought to genecide in general and why we must always remember what happened in the Holocaust. In particularly, the information and resources the producers provided on the current situation in Darfur was exceptional.
So it was with all these thoughts in mind that I entered Intiman's intimate little theather in the round. Watching the story come to life, literally (that's what is SO amazing about theater over movies), was quite emotional and given the superb performances, it was all the more impactful. The play definitely left one with a feeling of hope rather than dispair though. Lucy DeVito, the actress who played Anne Frank, made sure of that with her spot on performance of the cheeful, hopeful, optimistic young woman that we all know and love so well. If Anne can have hope about the future, I certainly can too.